What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Monday, March 5, 2007

Information Superhighway

Highway 21, Ontario
heading towards Tobermory

There has been a lot of talk although not as much recently about the information highway. With computers in just about every household and most of them connected to the internet, it is no wonder. For advertisers, entrepreneurs, scam artists and even SAHMs this has opened up a whole new possibility. Many now see the internet as a way to make and income and for some it will happen but just like regular self employment it does not come without a heck of a lot of hard work. I'm going to gear most of this post towards SAHMs or SAHDs because quite often they are seaking a way to suppliment their income without sacrificing their lifestyle. Perhaps make a little mad money or extra money for Christmas. I'll give you my experience both good and bad.

A note on advertisers: I'm sorry but I don't want them in my face especially when I'm paying damn good money for internet connection. What the advertisers don't get is this is my equipment and I choose what I want to read, that means by default advertisers do not get through!

Paid to Surf: Paid to surf sites were based on advertisers. These were really big for awhile and I likely subscribed to just about all of them but that is only because I did not realize what cost I was paying. One Christmas I was quite proud of myself when I handed my husband just a little over $300 in gift certificates as my contribution towards the Christmas shopping fund. Those days are long gone! Only a very dedicated surfer would make a few bucks here or there but a few of these sites still exist. What I didn't realize is many were selling our personal information and they continue to do so. Then as I got into internet security issues, I realized there could have been bigger problems. Personally, while most of these sites were kind of cutesy, they were a serious waste of time. With all this aside and if you are comfortable with these types of issues, the best paid to surf site that I recommend is MyPoints. My suggestion is to sign up with a disposable email account like Hotmail to prevent spam in your primary inbox.

Auction Sites: By far the best one is Ebay! This is a rather easy to get around website with items selling on an auction basis for the most part but there are buy it now options for some items. We've been members since 1998 and at one time in my spare time was averaging $400 a month selling items on Ebay. I even ran an online Ebay store for a short period of time. Like everything in life, Ebay has changed some for the good and some for the bad. Ebay is now linked with Paypal something we really like because that means our banking information only goes to Paypal not someone else. We also like it because we can pay immediately within seconds of the auction ending. Ebay changed their fee structure so you, the seller pay more to list the item plus you pay an additional percentage of the selling price. However, if you accept Paypal (and you don't have to) they also charge to an additional fee to process the payment and according to Ebay's TOS you cannot charge your buyers to cover this cost. What this has done is cause some sellers to over inflate their shipping and handling charges. While this seems to go unnoticed by Ebay, there are usenet and other groups that are more than willing to uncover such unscrupulous activity. Believe me you really don't want your Ebay user ID being trashed like that!

What too has really changed is the caliber of both buyers and sellers. Some sellers are now demanding payment within 3 days of the end of auction or they will neg you. Some buyers do not understand once you ship the item, the timing is in the hands of the post office and heaven help you if you are sending to a different country. They are very free with negging as well for the least little thing. More and more sellers are withholding feedback until the buyer gives a positive, likely for good reason but not what the feedback system was initially meant for. Ebay works on a feedback system based on the transaction. While it is good to pay attention to that always consider the aforementioned problems.

Blogging: Back when I got online the in thing was to have a homepage. Now the in thing is blogging. A blog is short for weblog and likely started out as an easy to use online diary but others seeing the potention are now using them for every topic under the sun. People are also making online friends this way without having to deal with the nastiness of usenet or some forums. In short, the author controls the content and whether comments will even be seen. This allows the author some degree freedom and that is really what it is all about. Onto the sceen come advertisers and companies paying for posts. Well the concept is pretty simple. You ad something like adsense (sorry will not link to any advertiser) or you make a post based on what the company wants you to talk about. Sorry, as far as I'm concerned that is nothing more than pimping out your blog! Bloggers, readers do not like to see this post is sponsored by or ads, sorry.

Well that is my experience with earning online and honestly for the most part all have their problems. There are some things I definitely won't do like pimping any of my blogs. I will give credit where credit is due but no stinking ads! I think you can tell were you could make some extra dollars from this post without having to deal with the advertisers.

Garden Gnome
© 2007